DataXu MarketPulse: Ad Price Volatility Is Opportunity for Advertisers


Yesterday, we distributed what we hope will be the first of many “DataXu MarketPulse” newsletters. Designed to highlight compelling trends in the digital advertising space, the DataXu MarketPulse was created in response to our customers’ requests for visibility and insights into the rapidly evolving world of biddable digital media.

DataXu MarketPulse, May 2010

Extreme Price Volatility Across Ad Exchanges Presents Opportunities for Buyers

DataXu analyzed the price paid for ad impressions across ad exchanges over the past 30 days, and discovered that the average daily price varied by over 100% during the period.

This analysis is drawn from our leading cross-exchange advertising optimization platform, which evaluated over 175M unique user visits and hundreds of billions of ad impressions from all of the major suppliers of biddable display advertising during the measurement period.

“With the tremendous growth of exchanges for bidding on digital display ads, we are seeing a persistent price volatility across all points of supply,” said Mike Baker, CEO of DataXu. “This presents innovative advertisers with a huge opportunity to boost media effectiveness and efficiency. But to do so, they have to move beyond static media buying to dynamic decision systems that keep pace with the volatility.”

Advertisers know that exchange-traded inventory varies in value, but this significant volatility in prices for fungible placement opportunities may serve as a wake-up call. When it comes to display ads, are you confident that you are getting what you pay for?

Over time, across large campaigns, such price variances can have a significant impact on ROI, if an advertiser is not employing the right analysis and tools to ensure that their higher cost impressions are also the highest value impressions for their specific goals.

The Average Daily CPM Price for Display Ads Across Exchanges Varies by Over 100%

The fluctuation of ad CPM prices outpaced other dynamic values — even during a period that included the stock market’s “flash crash” and the Goldman Sachs’ investigation.

CPM Price for Display Ads chart

DataXu’s MarketPulse explores the data that defines today’s digital advertising marketplace. Stay tuned for future insights from DataXu.  For a pdf of this report see DataXu MarketPulse: Ad Price Volatility, May 2010 and to sign up for future MarketPulse newsletters, send an email to